More Bad News for Boeing's Pegasus: USAF Finds Trash Inside Its New Refueling Tankers
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The U.S. Air Force refused to receive a new KC-46A tanker after debris was found on the plane.
Boeing, the manufacturer of the KC-46A, has problems with workers leaving debris on the plane.
The Air Force is concerned that debris could be a serious problem for the aircraft in flight and that unwanted parts could damage the aircraft and its systems.
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The U.S. Air Force has stopped delivering new Pegasus KC-46A tankers after finding garbage in the new aircraft's fuel tanks. The discovery was made in tankers heading to Seymour Johnson Air Base. This is the latest in a series of incidents in which garbage has been found in the newly manufactured tankers, which may cause serious safety problems.
According to the Air Force Times, the debris was found in the fuel tanks of one of two KC-46A tankers that were delivered to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The first of the brand new aircraft passed the inspection, but the second was left behind at Boeing after “non-standard factory overhauls”. Earlier incidents of debris occurred on the KC-46A assembly line.
The problem first appeared in 2019 when Air Force inspectors found numerous KC-46A tankers whose trash was accidentally sealed on the aircraft. The Air Force stopped deliveries in March and then again in April 2019. The head of the Air Force acquisition program, Will Roper, described the situation as "serious". Air Force pilots refused to fly the aircraft and referred to the possible dangers.
The debris included "aluminum shavings", hand tools, loose nuts, "garbage" and other items that inspectors feared could damage electrical wiring and cause flight system failure. The problem is reflected in the assembly lines for Boeing's civil aircraft, which left tools, rags, titanium shavings, metal nuts, sealing tubes, a string of lights, and even a ladder in 737 MAX aircraft.
The KC-46A is the Air Force's first air tanker in over 30 years and is based on the Boeing 767 Jetliner. The Pegasus can carry up to 212,299 pounds of fuel, up to 65,000 pounds of cargo, or a mixture of both. The service plans to purchase at least 179 tankers.
The KC-46A has suffered from other problems, including problems with its fuel probe and vision system that the crew can use to fuel aircraft. The KC-46A has exceeded $ 4.6 billion in cost overruns during the program. Boeing must swallow these exceedances in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Source: Air Force Times
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